Manos Limpias expands charges against wife Sánchez

by Lorraine Williamson
Manos Limpias

The far-right group Manos Limpias has filed documentation with the court hearing the indictment against Begoña Gómez, wife of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

Gómez is said to have had ties with the Spanish tourism group Globalia, owner of Air Europa, among others. The documentation talks about an alleged preferential treatment of Globalia by the government after its contacts with its former CEO Javier Hidalgo. Sánchez himself would be a cover.

The Secretary General of Manos Limpias, Miguel Bernad, and Director of Research, Francisco Cordero, reported on Friday during a press conference on the status of the investigation procedure opened by the Court of Instruction number 41 of Madrid. This was in response to the indicment for alleged crimes of influence and corruption in business.

No conjecture or speculation

Earlier, Manos Limpias said their indictment of Begoña Gómez, the wife of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, was based solely on information that could be true or false. Bernad has indicated that the report presented in the extension of the indictment is “serious and forceful”, complies with “the most absolute legality” and “has a solid basis for the judge to launch an investigation”.

“It’s based on something we didn’t make up. We would be crazy to present a report based on conjecture and speculation,” he said. He added that he believes it will be “an incentive for the proceedings”.

Possible involvement of the Prime Minister

The leader of Manos Limpias does not want to reveal the full contents of the report. However, he did claim that the report mainly focuses on Globalia. He stressed that it could be “the turning point” to “show that the prime minister could, allegedly, also be involved in his wife’s business dealings and was aware of all his wife’s activities”.

Bernad has indicated that “at the moment” only Gómez is named as a suspect. And that “in principle” they have no intention of expanding the list of suspects. Not with other family members, not with Sánchez.

Cogesa Expats

Report focused on Globalia

According to him, they add “references to official bulletins, documentation, and some screenshots” in the report. Specifically, Manos Limpias focuses on two grants awarded to Globalia for €475 and €320 million. The Council of Ministers approved it without applying the regular control. In doing so, the company benefited from support due to the corona pandemic.

Government skipped rules

The government skipped all the rules. Sánchez knew about the very close relationship between Javier Hidalgo and Begoña Gómez,” Bernard said. He also pointed out that Globalia did not comply with tax obligations. One of the requirements for receiving support.

According to Bernad, Mr Sánchez should have abstained from voting on the approval of that aid. He didn’t. At least not with the first, the €475 million, according to a report that was shown at the press conference. In the case of Manos Limpias, they do not know whether the prime minister abstained from voting in the second one. But they deduce that this was not the case, because the government – according to him – “would have announced it” if he had abstained.

On whether he believes Sánchez’s wife will be subpoenaed by the judge, Bernad replied that what the court has on the table is enough to sue her. “We have done our duty to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. That looked the other way. It has failed to fulfil its duty to defend the public interest and the law in force,” he said.

The Indictment

On April 9, Manos Limpias filed the indictment that prompted the proceedings. In the indictment, the union alleges that Gómez, “using her personal status as the wife of the president of the Spanish government, recommended businessmen who competed for public tenders”.

One of the businessmen who was awarded a €10 million contract later sponsored a master’s degree program by Begoña Gómez.

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